Are Sellers required to patch and paint the holes in the wall before closing?

Asked by Simba, Los Angeles, CA Sun Aug 25, 2013

Are Sellers required to patch and paint the holes in the wall before closing? We purchased a home and the Sellers had tons of paintings on the wall in each room. We assumed the holes would be patched and spot painted prior to vacating. When we moved in, we were disappointed to find several nail holes in each room. The agent and other parties said they are not required to clean or fix any of the nail holes. We read through the contract, and nothing addresses this issue. Please advise! Regretful Buyers.

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15
Tony Warfield, Agent, Manhattan Beach, CA
Mon Sep 2, 2013
Buyers should expect only to what is agreed to be done in the request for repairs and contract. If you had done a final inspection before closing, you could have asked that the sellers do some patch repair, but they would not be required. This is normal for occupied homes that are sold.

Was the home in move-in condition and you liked every color in every room? Or are you planning to paint in colors of your own taste? Unless they ripped out large pieces of the wall removing the nails, no big deal. Be happy that your offer was accepted over other buyers and you now have a home to enjoy.
7 votes
"Just be happy that your offer was accepted.." Wouldn't hire an agent with that outlook.
Flag Wed Jun 7, 2017
Dorene Slavi…, Agent, Torrance, CA
Sun Aug 25, 2013
Dear Simba,

There is no "law or rule" that requires sellers to patch or paint where objects were on the wall. It would have been thoughtful to do it though. Realtors are also not required to do repairs on homes they sell.

It's possible it was just an oversight and something the owners did not notice, when they moved out. This would be particularly true if they had movers come in.
Often new owners will repaint a property anyway so that it matches their taste. Why not just pick a couple of nice paint colors and paint it a color you love?
2 votes
Clint Lohr, Agent, Glendale, CA
Sun Aug 25, 2013
The sellers are not obligated to patch and paint holes in the walls before closing if it was not part of the agreement and there is nothing in the purchase contract disclosing them. You could have asked them to had you known about the holes prior to closing. Please consult a real estate attorney to see if you might have any recourse.
2 votes
Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Mon Sep 2, 2013
No.

Of course not. Not if it's not in the contract.

And I don't know about Los Angeles, but in many parts of the country it's usual for there to be a walk-through of the property on the morning of the purchase--just to make sure that everything the sellers had agreed to do had been done. Now, if it wasn't in the contract you couldn't have required the repairs, but at least you would have discovered it prior to move-in.
1 vote
Annie Ritz, , Los Angeles, CA
Mon Aug 26, 2013
Hi Simba,
Unfortunately this isn't covered in the contract. The best time to address this is when you formally request repairs. Hiring a handyman to patch and paint is very affordable and, in my experience, Sellers agree to this without a problem. Sorry this wasn't addressed earlier for you!
Best,
Annie
http://www.annieritz.com
1 vote
Tristam Biel…, Agent, South Pasadena, CA
Wed Dec 17, 2014
Unless you specified specifically in your offer or request for repairs, holes like this do not have to be patched and painted.

Unless big holes have been torn out of the wall, these are easily repaired. If you do not plan on repainting, you can get the paint color matched if the sellers cannot tell you what color they used.
0 votes
Tristam Biel…, Agent, South Pasadena, CA
Wed Dec 17, 2014
Unless you specified specifically in your offer or request for repairs, holes like this do not have to be patched and painted.

Unless big holes have been torn out of the wall, these are easily repaired. If you do not plan on repainting, you can get the paint color matched if the sellers cannot tell you what color they used.
0 votes
Kevin and Ju…, Agent, Wildomar, CA
Tue Dec 16, 2014
As has been well-answered, the Seller does not need to patch and paint unless specifically agreed to in writing. Your RealtorĀ® should have let you know -
0 votes
Caleb Hart, Renter, Orem, UT
Tue Dec 16, 2014
Sellers can choose to sell the home how ever the want. The buyer must then to agree to buy the home in the condition that it is in. You could try to talk to them and see if they will give you a credit for the holes. That way you wouldn't have to pay for them. http://ccspainting.com
0 votes
Gail Mercedes…, Agent, Beverly Hills, CA
Mon Aug 26, 2013
Simba,

The signed purchase agreement/escrow instructions would have to require that the seller required to patch and paint nail holes(before close of escrow). Nail holes result of seller's removal of personal pictures. If it is not stated in signed agreements seller is not responsible.

Gail Mercedes Cole
EXP Realty
310.853.9933
0 votes
Kathleen Bec…, Agent, Santa Monica, CA
Sun Aug 25, 2013
If it is in the contract, then it would be the Seller's responsibility, however, if it is not, then no. Im sorry that your agent did not address this before you closed escrow.
0 votes
JR Thrasher, Agent, San Diego, CA
Sun Aug 25, 2013
If you have already closed or removed your contingencies you are out of luck. If you have not removed your contingencies then work with your agent to submit a request for repairs.

J.R. Thrasher
http://www.SanDiegoRealEstateVeterans.com
619-929-0105
0 votes
Javier Menes…, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Melville, NY
Sun Aug 25, 2013
If its not in the contract, don't be surprised it wasn't done. Also, didn't you do a final inspection right before closing?

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(516) 606-9648 Cell
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0 votes
Lance King, Agent, San Francisco, CA
Sun Aug 25, 2013
They are not required to, although if there was some damage behind any pictures or things like that, they should be disclosed before COE so buyers know what to expect.
0 votes
Rahman Colson, Agent, Gardena, CA
Sun Aug 25, 2013
No, they are not required to fix anything that was not agreed upon prior to closing. That request needed to be added to the contract as a condition to closing and then there is no guarantee the seller would have agreed to repair them. Hope that helps.
0 votes
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